I was talking recently with someone who asked why I was working in this style, essentially being an abstract sculptor, when I could draw and (with a lot of make-up practice) paint. I had to respond by saying that if I was going to do any "classical art", I would want to draw and paint at a certain level. That I would have had to have started at age 10 and painted or drew almost every day. The Masters had it right, to perfect a skill, any skill, you had to work at it. I don't think this is merely a Victorian work ethic but an understanding that from baseball to cooking, surgery to dance, it takes a huge investment in time to get good at something. The irony is that once achieved, to the rest of the word, your skill looks effortless.
Distracted by a million things, I don't think that I could ever paint the way I would have wanted to but there was something that I did do most days. I designed things. In a way, following in my father's footsteps as a graphic designer (in his day called a commercial artist), my love of design followed me by day and haunted my dreams by night. This sense of design, honed over 40 years is what I bring to my work. Balance, composition and form were my tools. Working as if I was polishing a stone, refining slowly, again and again, until the form and balance were right. This still left me with that vision thing, what would I say, what was my vision; but I would at least know how I would say it.